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Venice Planning Committee Hears Plans for 24-Hour House of Pies

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By Paul Chavez, Venice Dispatch

The Venice Neighborhood Council’s Land Use and Planning Committee heard three presentations at its Oct. 17 meeting, including plans for a 24-hour restaurant at the busy corner of Lincoln and Venice boulevards.

A proposal was presented for a 3,717-square-feet House of Pies to be built at 1020 Venice Blvd., a vacant lot that was a longtime gas station before becoming a local spot to buy Christmas trees. The restaurant would have 116 seats, including 17 patio spaces.

The owner, Vic Watana, plans to seek permission to operate 24 hours and supply a full line of alcohol. Watana owns the 24-hour House of Pies on 1869 N. Vermont Ave. in Los Feliz as well as two Natalee Thai restaurants on the Westside. The restaurant was designed by Venice-based Coscia Day A+D and features a stark, modern design with glass features.

The meeting was attended by about two dozen people and several asked about parking in the congested area. A representative said the parking lot holds 20 vehicles and the restaurant’s policy would be for employees to park off-site. Plans call for the restaurant to include bike racks.

Project architect Tony Coscia, who designed his “Skywave” home on the 700 block of Indiana Avenue, said the restaurant’s design was “pretty simple” and it was crafted as an object that people can drive around and see into.

The proposal remains in its early stages and a community meeting will be scheduled in the near future to provide more details and address residents’ concerns.

The planning board also heard a lengthy proposal for a small lot subdivision at 522 So. Venice Blvd. The Venice Neighborhood Council during its April meeting voted 14-0 with two abstentions against earlier plans for a 12-unit condo complex on the lot. Allan Abshez, an attorney representing the applicant, told the committee that new plans called for 12 units, plus two off-site units that would be set aside for low-income veterans at 1426 Main St. in Venice. Abshez showed the committee members photos of nearby condo complexes and said they believed the project was compatible with the surrounding density.

The applicants said they also would agree to provide matching funds up to $50,000 to support an art project at nearby Centennial Park. The project would require the city to sell a corner of public land along Venice Boulevard to move forward as planned.

A staff report on the project was expected during a November meeting of the Land Use and Planning Committee and no action was taken.

The committee also received an update on plans for a new single-family home to be constructed at 1518 So. Oakwood Ave.

In other developments, grocery seller Fresh & Easy has been scheduled to present their plans for a new store at the northwest corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Washington Boulevard during the committee’s Nov. 7 meeting. Sauce on Hampton, 259 Hampton Dr., also has plans to add a second floor to the restaurant and a community meeting likely will be held in early November.

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